Skin Care in Eastern Europe

July 2018

Skin care sales in Eastern Europe have shown unspectacular results as weak economies in the region’s largest countries have hindered sales. Turnovers are picking up with shoppers becoming more affluent as well as educated. Previously unseen brands and concepts have emerged and been warmly received by shoppers but skin care remains dominated by ubiquitous mass brands relying on brand image and discounts. Expanding economies are expected to be behind future market gains.

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Compared to other regions, sales are small and growth is slower

Skin care sales remain small in Eastern Europe, in the global context, with neither the size nor the speed of growth able to match those observed in Asia or North America. Still, the region retains the presence and interest of major multinationals. Omnipresent mass brands defend their leading positions in the market but fragmentation is evident as shoppers start looking for niche offerings.

Advanced concepts are used by all manufacturers

The industry has become fully high-tech. Hyaluronic acid, alginate, micro encapsulated retinol, and activated charcoal are but a few concepts that consumers know about and search for. While previously the domain of multinationals, advanced technologies are now also employed by nimble domestic firms.

The Asian cosmetics trend takes hold

Asian cosmetics products are taking the world by storm and Eastern Europe is no exception. High-income shoppers splurge on exotics from Korea and Japan while the less affluent have to settle for Korean-inspired local products as they cannot afford the real thing. Domestic companies are not shy in borrowing the most catchy ingredients, such as snail mucin.

Retailing modernisation also affects skin care

The modernisation period is not yet over for retailing in Eastern Europe, bringing along changes for everyone involved. Discounters and internet retailers, whose importance is growing, use cut-throat pricing and make other channels follow suit.

Economic improvement will benefit the players that held on

Rebounding economies in the region’s major countries are expected to underpin skin care sales over 2017-2022. None of the key players left the market during the lean years, enticed by potential future gains. They are expected to reap the rewards over the forecast period.


Key findings

Regional Overview

Eastern Europe: A laggard but not left behind
Years of economic disorder are over, for now
Poland shows drama-free growth and emerges as a must-be market
Facial care underpins growth in smaller countries
Poland shows impressive results with sales taking off
Economy and fashion trends shape shopping decisions (1)
Economy and fashion trends shape shopping decisions (2)
Skin care retailing undergoes changes (1)
Skin care retailing undergoes changes (2)

Leading Companies and Brands

Incumbents are gradually threatened by niche offerings and private label
L’Oréal continues to ascend, with interruptions
Russia remains indispensable
Products for the masses dominate the region of thrifty shoppers

Forecast Projections

Russia and Poland are expected to drive growth
Growth is expected for the region but deceleration looms
The economy and habits are behind the expected growth (1)
The economy and habits are behind the expected growth (2)

Country Snapshots

Russia: Market Context
Russia: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Poland: Market Context
Poland: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Ukraine: Market Context
Ukraine: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Romania: Market Context
Romania: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Czech Republic: Market Context
Czech Republic: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Hungary: Market Context
Hungary: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Slovakia: Market Context
Slovakia: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Bulgaria: Market Context
Bulgaria: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Lithuania: Market Context
Lithuania: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Serbia: Market Context
Serbia: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Belarus: Market Context
Belarus: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Estonia: Market Context
Estonia: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Croatia: Market Context
Croatia: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Bosnia-Herzegovina: Market Context
Bosnia-Herzegovina: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Macedonia: Market Context
Macedonia: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Slovenia: Market Context
Slovenia: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Latvia: Market Context
Latvia: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Georgia: Market Context
Georgia: Competitive and Retail Landscape


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